Bee Roots for 2024-07-20

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: H/ACIORT
  • Words: 58
  • Points: 276
  • Pangrams: 3
Source: SoundCloud

Table content

answers coveredanswer's first letteranswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1A5What a sneeze sounds like
1A4Curved span
1A7No longer in use (words, e.g.), adj.
1A5Buddhist who has achieved nirvana; ends in “cap” synonym
1A9Swelling and tenderness of one or more joints
1A6Fasten 2 things together, noun form is a pangram
1C7Excessive buildup of mucus; sounds like feline + pirate sound; has double R
1C5Intercept & hold (a fish, a thrown ball, e.g.)
1C9The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions
1C4Spiced Indian tea (… latte)
2C5,7Furniture for sitting
1C7Complete disorder and confusion
1C4Partially burn & blacken, verb; or trout-like fish
1C7Horse-drawn two-wheeled vehicle (…s of Fire), pangram
1C5Nautical map, or pictorial data representation (pie, bar …)
1C4Informal conversation, noun or verb (online … room, group …)
1C4Faddish “pet” mint plant
1C5Girl, Spanish
1C6Pretentious style (or almost 2x fashionable)
1C4IOU note, Navy memo
1C8Idle small talk; slang compound noun or verb that starts with a list word
1C5Singing group (Mormon Tabernacle …)
1C5Athletic instructor or trainer, noun/verb; or bus, noun
1C4Silver Pacific salmon
1C6A sidekick, or Roman military unit of 6 centuries (1/10 legion)
1H4“Age of Aquarius” ‘60s nude hippie rock musical, or what grows on your scalp
1H7French name for navy bean, pangram
1H4♂ deer, not ♥
1H5Emerge from an egg, verb
1H4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
1H5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
1H5“Psycho” director Alfred nickname, or slang for thumb a ride, verb; or device on a vehicle that allows it to attach a trailer, noun
1H4Crystallized frost
1H5Cheap liquor
1H6US Marine cheer word, each syllable pronounced separately
1H4Owl sound, noun/verb
1H4Jewish circle dance (“The …”)
1H8Milky drink made from ground almonds, tiger nuts, or rice
1H6Scary Steven King genre
1I5Greek gods’ blood; or wound seepage
1I4What you scratch (an …)
1O4Vow or pledge (you’re under one in court testimony)
1O8Prescription shoe insert
1R6English speaking style in which R before a consonant or at the end of a word is pronounced
1R4Wealthy, adj.
1R5Scurrying insect; often starts with COCK–
1T4Dashboard engine RPM gauge abbr.
1T4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
1T6Straw roof covering
1T8The part of your body between neck and abdomen
1T6Front of neck, “Deep …” Watergate source
1T5What you chew with
1T51st 5 books of Bible in scroll form for Jews
1T5“Tiki” flame holder
1T5Archaic var. of “honesty”; you pledge your … in marriage vows

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout